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JodyT

Installing Vista x64 Ultimate on FAT32

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Well it started out looking like it would be better but it isn't. This attempt using xxcopy failed because the OS doesn't boot at all.

Directories Processed = 11,550 Total Data in Bytes   = 12,627,711,041 Elapsed time in sec.  = 965.6 (16 min 5 sec) Action speed (MB/min) = 784.7 Files Examined        = 67,059 Files Copied          = 59,055 Error Count           = 11,225 Exit code             = 255 (Exit code is the number of failures plus 100)

The elapsed time is very wrong. It was at least 6 hours since it was still going when I left. We can tell there are less errors, or that it copied approximately 2,000 files that xcopy didn't. It did not fail on all the items in WinSxS. Most said either "Copy Failed" or "Can't Create" but some did succeed. At least from what little (comparatively) I could tell from what was left in the console.

After I rebooted, I got an error from Boot Manager saying winload.exe was missing. I made the partition Active but it still gave that error. So I booted back into WinPE to run BCDBoot, but it gave me this error:

BFSVC Error: Unable to load MUI file for BCD strings (2).

I took a look-see into C:\windows\system32 and confirmed that winload.exe was not present. In fact, there were only 3 .exe files in there, so that's definately a problem! Anyways, I will have to take a break from playing with this because I need to use that PC for something else.

It is possible I had not used the proper arguments with xxcopy. This was what I used:

xxcopy d: c: /S /E /H /K /JR

I can't remember if I used /N or /B, I should have written it down.

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Wow! This is sounding VERY difficult. Like I said, I thought that a partition conversion utility would do the trick, but it's sounds like a process ridden with problems. I think come Januaray when I perform my installation of Vista x64, I will stick with NTFS using 4 KB clusters.

Now I just need to figure out how to not let the MFT grow too much in size after I delete files. But that's for another thread.

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Wow! This is sounding VERY difficult. Like I said, I thought that a partition conversion utility would do the trick, but it's sounds like a process ridden with problems.

You also forgot to insert "unexpectedly" or "surprisingly". :whistle:

jaclaz

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I'm not sure that I follow jaclaz (???)

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I'm not sure that I follow jaclaz (???)

Nothing of much relevance :) but since the very first reply to your original question, on post #2 user Ffin, and later yours truly on post #5 tried to convey you essentially two things:

  1. a partition conversion won't work
  2. it would be a difficult process - and if possible at all - ridden with problems

this is strangely similar to the result of Tripredacus attempt to deploy directy to a FAT32 filesystem on post #13, which got a very similar comment from me on post #14.

jaclaz

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So, in other words, you essentially mean "I told you so"? ;)

Cheers and Regards

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The reason I think XXCopy can do it is because MRGCAV or Dietmar used XXCopy Pro for it in the already mentioned (in post #2, bynuser Ffin) How to install Windows Vista on a FAT32 partition and the differences between XXCOPY Pro and Freeware are mainly irrelevant for this purpose, so the free version should be able to do it (then again, that was actually done with Vista x86...).

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So, in other words, you essentially mean "I told you so"? ;)

Cheers and Regards

Yep. :)

More exactly it was the "passive" form, "You had already been told so", implying "What did you think, that it was instead doable with a partition conversion and that it was easy?" :w00t:

I would additionally state how I believe that though XXCOPY, among all the tools, is the only one that may be able to do the copy, it won't probably work nonetheless :(:ph34r:.

What the method Dietmar used consists of, essentially, was not to copy from the NTFS to the FAT32 the "tricky" files/folders, but rather to create the empty files/folders structure and then use the Vista "Repair" feature to "fill the gaps".

I suspect that in this process Vista is somehow "tricked", finding an already installed operating system, into bypassing the (perverted) logic that was inserted in order to prevent the installing of it on a FAT32 and "unbundles" the complex "net" of hard and soft links, making a "plainer" install.

In other words, I think that when a method for achieving something similar (32 bit instead of 64 bit) exists, attempting to use the same documented method has bigger probabilities to work - at least partially - than "re-inventing" the method.

If and when a success is obtained with the the known method, then it is the time to experiment with new, strange ways to replicate.

As a matter of fact, IF I was interested (and had the time and source OS) in the matter, I would first try re-doing EXACTLY what Dietmar documented (with the 32 bit OS), then try the same method if successful with 64 bit and only later attempt to find whether are there any better, easier, ways to replicate.

jaclaz

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So, in other words, you essentially mean "I told you so"? ;)

Cheers and Regards

Yep. :)

More exactly it was the "passive" form, "You had already been told so", implying "What did you think, that it was instead doable with a partition conversion and that it was easy?" :w00t:

LOL - Actually yes, I reluctantly take someone's final word without challenging it, and I've learned that while some see it as a contestant persoanlity trait, it's actually a good thing. Too many times when I've taken "no" for an answer and then pursued something further, I ended up getting my wish (whether it was finding a vinyl LP that every online and retail channel said was not available, or accomplishing a function on the PC that could not be done)

When you think about it, the Win9x and Win2KPro forums are full of cases where users of those OSs were told "no", but because they were stubborn, they can now do many things on Win9x and Win2KPro that were deemed impossible.

To me that sort of stubbornness is inspiring (off putting to some indeed...lol, but inspiring in terms of what it can accomplish)

Nonetheless, I'm very appreciative of all of the information and ideas you've all offered.

Edited by JodyThornton
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In your current case, you started out asking whether anyone was aware of any issues with a few particular aspects of the way that you had in mind of trying to install Vista x64 on a Fat32 system. Bottom line, the answer is "No, no one knows", because no one here has ever even tried to do such a thing, nor are they aware of anyone else that has tried it, and they are only aware of one recorded instance of a successful installation of Vista x86 on Fat32. So there were a few offshoot conversations about why you wanted to do such a thing, which then progressed to doubting that you would be successful. But you had not even asked about that possibility, you had just assumed that it would be possible. Then Trip even went as far as to run some tests, though so far they have been unsuccessful. You have succeeded in stirring up some interest, though, like jaclaz, I'm not sure that there would be any noticeable improvement in operation. I know that you say that you have noticed a difference on some of your XP x64 systems and have read of measurable differences under certain conditions, HDD sizes, etc. But then XP easily runs on Fat32, while above XP, not so much.

So if you still have an interest in exploring this option, like dencorso said in post 12, it's probably time for you to "stop talking, and proceed to experimentation", and like him, I also mean that with respect. I know that you mentioned that your plans were to do this next year, but it seems you also now agree that even if it is possible, that it will not be an easy task, so the more time you can devote to experiments the better. If you now feel it is a more difficult task than you are able to attempt, then that's fine as well. If you wish to proceed, I agree with jaclaz that it makes sense to first try to repeat and verify Dietmar's methods. You might even also do an install with Vista x86 on NTFS so you can compare the two and see if you can perceive any noticeable difference in performance between them like you say you can on XP x64. If there is no difference, or the performance or operation on Fat32 is impacted in any detrimental way, then that might also influence whether you want to continue to attempt installing Vista x64 on Fat32.

Of course, if your interest in this is more academic or you just want to do it "for fun", or just to prove that it can be done, then take all the time in the world you want to play with this concept. Like you say, I'm sure that at least some of the folks that still use Win98 or Win2K do it merely to be stubborn and thumb their noses at those who said that it couldn't be done, or just enjoy being different.

On the other hand, if you want to have a stable, reliable, flexible, day-to-day system, do you really want to be the very first one we know of to run Vista x64 on Fat32, when we also have no evidence that even Vista x86 on Fat32 is reliable long term? You began this thread asking about the WinSxS folder, and then the bootloader was immediately brought into question. And that doesn't even take into account dealing with WU/MU and then actually installing the updates obtained, which I assume you feel is important to do. Nor have I seen it even mentioned about whether all of the apps you want to run will all work correctly. Sure, they all "should", but then you thought getting the OS to run would just be a matter of converting the partition with PartitionMagic. There are bound to be unforeseen "gotcha's". IMO, this just doesn't seem like a smart progression from your stable XP x64. Just a few things to think about.

Cheers and Regards

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Thank you for your comments (very well thought out I must admit). Are you saying in your closing statements that I should stick with Windows XP x64 Edition? Will the stability I have with it remain as exploits are possible down the road?

I wrote this on the XP x64 Forum; maybe you can give me your thoughts:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I mentioned on the Vista forum that soon, I'll be ready "upgrade" to Vista x64 Ultimate in January. For some reason, the bios and SCSI subsystem on my HP XW8200 Workstation doesn't fully support Windows 7, so I'll move to Vista x64 instead (I ran a test installation back last year for a couple weeks and Vista ran REALLY well on my system).

So that means I am on my last two months of Windows XP x64 Edition. As I mentioned in the other post, it's almost bittersweet, since I'm looking forward to using something more updated and supported, but my XP x64 installation runs so smoothly. I guess my concerns are two-fold. One is that support for current software will be increasingly dropped week by week, and month by month. Gradually, I won't be able to browse a modern web, and that concerns me.

Also, I am concerned about the lack of support when it comes to Windows Updates after April. Now I know there are convoluted workarounds to allowing Windows Server 2003 updates to install on Windows XP x64 Edition, but even then; that's only fixes me until July 2015. So I figure I may as well jump to Vista now and enjoy three years of having a supported OS. That should last the life of the machine.

I would love to stay on XP x64. I loved using three specific operating systems in my computing life: OS/2 Warp v3.0, Windows 2000 Professional and now Windows XP x64 Edition. They have been absolutely trouble free (acutally OS/2 had that single input queue freeze up issue but oh well...lol). But I wish there was a direct replacement for XP. I wish there was a newer version of Microsoft Windows that had a low memory footprint, and worked well with a wide variety of apps. XP was also easier to streamline thanks to nLite...lol.

Oh well, thanks for the memories Windows XP.

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It probably depends on your true needs. If XPx64 and all your current apps meet your needs for the foreseeable future, then I don't know that you need to be in a hurry to change. I assume we are talking about home use? IIRC, even after extended support was dropped for Win2K, updates continued to be released for some time for the truly critical problems that came up. And it is very likely that anti-malware apps will continue to be updated for XP, and by using them along with a hardware defense mechanism such as a good router, and of course being careful and aware when you are on line and having and using a good backup strategy, you really should be fine for quite a while. Since XP still enjoys such a large market share, there very well might be some third party that steps in with some kind of support program. I have seen rumors of such, but so far they are strictly rumors. And even if XP is not updated much, if at all anymore, the advantage to that is that no new problems will be created. New ones might be "found" but none will be "created". :) And as the majority of users shift further "upward" to Win7 and beyond, new exploits will be more and more focused in that direction as well. Some folks now say that Win98 is one of the "safest" OS out there since no one bothers to target it anymore.

If you feel you need, or want, to make a change, personally, I would suggest making every effort to see if you could get Win7 to run on your system, even if you need to make some hardware changes in order to do so, if you can afford it that is. It would seem likely to "future-proof" you better, since that seems to be a concern. I won't even tease you with suggesting Win8. I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy. :)

But I also do not really see a problem with Vista x64. It seems it would be the easiest change for you and would still give you official support for a while, and would give you a chance to get used to the newer ways that MS does things now, such as NTFS and WinSxS. Yes I know they seem more inefficient and bloated than you are used to, and they are from a hardware perspective. But look at it from a software creation cost perspective. People keep wanting their software to do more and more. In the old days, that meant having to tweak every bit of efficiency out of every byte of code, because, compared to today, memory and disc space were limited, CPU speed was slow, and all of those things were expensive. Now as hardware has improved, your smart phone is faster and has more storage space than desktops of old, and it's even "free", with a 2-year service plan. :) "Real" computers, ie desktops or laptops, are fast and have vast amounts of memory and storage space, for less money than the old systems cost, especially when you take inflation into account. What has gotten more expensive is what it costs to develop the software, ie manpower costs. And since the memory, disk space and CPU cycles are available, it is cheaper and quicker for the software developer to get more features by writing bloated, inefficient code, than to take the time it would require to write code like they used to write it. Also, some of those "inefficiencies", do provide more features, like the WinSxS folder. It gives you more abilities to uninstall updates that you wouldn't have otherwise, for example.

Again, because of the hardware improvements, there is just not the need for the normal user to do the kind of "liting" of their OS as there used to be. Even if any improvements in performance could be measured or even noticed, it just won't make enough of a difference to matter in normal day-to-day use. As an old timer that predates PCs, I remember using the early PCs that used 8" floppies or cassette tapes or even paper tape, and the 1MHz 8-bit CPU ran its OS and apps in a total of 64K bytes of total memory, at most, so it is horrifying to see the amount of memory and disc space that OS and apps take up today. But when I wrote code "back in the day", we would spend days optimizing routines to save 10 bytes and 6 machine cycles because it mattered back then. Now it doesn't.

If you choose to try Vista or Win7, I would suggest not trying to "lite" the OS at all at first. In fact I would suggest installing it with every option enabled and live with it a while. Try all the features and options. Absolutely tweak and enhance it however you want, but don't remove or disable anything at first. (This will also ensure the most compatibility with other software and cause less problems with "missing" features or future updates.) Once you have seen what you truly don't need or don't like or doesn't meet your particular needs with your other software or whatever, then you can begin disabling features. Continue to live with it like that for a while so that if you were wrong, then it's easy to re-enable the feature and you're back in business. Only after you are really, really sure you don't need or want something should you even consider removing it, and even then, will it really make a difference? If not, just leave it disabled.

Sorry for getting off topic. :) I know all of these suggestions aren't really appropriate to someone who has used computers for as long as I'm sure you have, but you got me started and it all seemed to be related. heh-heh :)

Anyway, I don't know if anything I said will make any difference to you, but good luck with your decision.

Cheers and Regards

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@bhplt

An exceptionally good and interesting breakdown of the reasons :yes:, BUT you will need to properly define "people" in this sentence :whistle::

People keep wanting their software to do more and more.

AND you omitted mentioning Wirth's Law :w00t::

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirth's_Law

:)

jaclaz

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+1 (in reference to bphlpt's post #43 above). :)
Those are wise words.
And consider multibooting... 9x/ME brought me to MSFN. Here I learned about multibooting. Nowadays, I just wonder how did I manage to survive using single boot machines for so long. With XP x64, Vista x64 (and a bootable image of Vista PE x86 or a Live Linux image for emergencies) you cover all the bases.

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